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YOGA TEACHER TRAINING COURSE

 13th June 2016- 15th July 2016

 

In June 2016 I flew to India to study for my RYS 200 hours yoga teacher training qualification in McLeod Ganj.

Here's how I got on...

July 25, 2016

Training as a yoga teacher in India exposed me to a diverse mix of like-minded people from all over the globe. Throughout the course we shared our experiences and talents with one another, enabling us to gain far more from the month than just a yoga teaching qualification. On the final week I was fortunate to experience an Activate Breathwork session, run by two of my classmates, Martin McNicholl and Elisangela Paes. Their mis...

July 16, 2016

I’m so pleased to say that I qualified as a yoga teacher last week! And I have my 200 Hours RYS certificate to prove it! But what I’ve come to realise is that this is just the start of my yoga journey…

My month with Chandra Yoga was incredibly demanding, with 12-hour days at yoga school plus philosophy assignments and class plans. Make no mistake in thinking that a 200-hour yoga teacher-training course is like a retreat: my mon...

July 9, 2016

If anyone tells you they are travelling to Dharamsala to see the Dalai Lama, they will be heading up to McLeod Ganj, (via a very steep and winding road!) Home to thousands of Tibetan refugees who have escaped the Chinese occupancy, it is the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India. The town’s colourful culture and long-standing passion for peace welcomes tourists with open arms, inviting them to embrace the kind and compass...

July 7, 2016

The focus of discussion in my yogic philosophy class is usually on samadhi:  “a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation. In yoga this is regarded as the final stage, at which union with the divine is reached.” Samadhi is essentially the goal of yoga and is what serious pracitioners work towards: superconscious awareness. Yet even within Samadhi there are various levels, the highest of which is ‘Dharma M...

July 4, 2016

Triund is the crown jewel of Dharamsala. Set at 9325 ft (2,842 metres) above sea level, Triund offers breathtaking views of Kangra Valley on one side and the Dhauladhar Mountains on the other. It’s not the easiest attraction to reach, as the 9km trek from McLeod Ganj to Triund is a steep ascent of over 1,100 metres and typically takes 4 ½ hours. But it is well worth the effort.

I unfortunately missed out on last week’s group hi...

July 2, 2016

Classes were cancelled yesterday for a full day of complete digestive cleansing (varisara dhauti), something I crudely called ‘shit day!’ This practice encourages bowel movement through the consumption of salty water. The participant has to drink 2 glasses of warm salty water (quickly) before performing 5 yoga postures, 8 times each. They then continue to drink more salt water and repeat the asana practice until an urgent dash...

July 1, 2016

I'm surprised that it's taken me this long to talk about yoga asana- the physical postures and poses which lie at the heart of Western yoga. Whilst asana is still my favourite part of yoga, learning about its other components has been invaluable to my practice. Even though there are many physical benefits to practicing asana, these should never overshadow the mental and spiritual advantages. Otherwise we end up with a diluted...

June 30, 2016

Hidden in the Himachal Pradesh district of the Himalayas is the hippie village of Dharamkot, approximately 2km outside of McLeodGanj. Whilst the Dalai Lama’s hometown has its wealth of shops and attractions (blog post to follow), it can get quite hectic with the constant car horns and tourist parties. In complete contrast, Dharamkot is a traffic free zone, renowned for its laid-back, carefree vibe.

After a busy week of teaching...

June 25, 2016

This morning I experienced yogic cleansing- or shatkarma- for the first time (which literally translates to ‘six actions’). The shatkarmas consist of six groups of purification practices that aim to create harmony in the body by balancing the three doshas: kapha (mucus); pitta (bile); and vala (wind). According to both ayurveda and hatha yoga, an imbalance in the doshas will result in illness, so practicing shatkarma is s...

June 22, 2016

Sorry I haven’t blogged much in the last couple of days but unfortunately I’ve been quite unwell. I thought I might have strengthened my  ‘Asian immunity’ after numerous trips to the continent, but India is a totally different ball game not to be underestimated! My intention isn’t to scare you away from this beautiful country but to help reduce your chances of getting sick! In hindsight I realise I should have been more carefu...

June 18, 2016

My biggest challenge on the yoga teacher training course was always going to be the morning meditation because a). I hate mornings and b). I am useless at sitting still. At home there’s no point talking to me until I’ve had my morning coffee because I can’t summon smiles or sentences before 8am, unless caffeine is involved. However at Chandra Yoga I am caffeine free and waking up at 5:30am for my first class of the day: Medita...

June 16, 2016

To celebrate the start of the course we all took part in an opening fire ceremony. The ritual (also known as a Homa) consists of mantras and offerings such as ghee, samagree (fragrant medicinal herbs) and grains which are thrown onto the fire. The practice has been used for thousands of years to help with physical and mental health. This is because the burning of offerings is said to remove toxins from atmosphere, as the fire...

June 15, 2016

I've finally arrived at Chandra Yoga, following 26 hours of door-to-door travelling. After surviving on a cocktail of Gatorade and coffee, my tired traveller's body isn't feeling like a model 'temple'. Failing to commemorate the last mouthful of caffeine and chewing on the final ‘Fruitella’, I am surprised at my willingness to go cold turkey on these everyday addictions…I must be tired!! Yet in all honesty, I am really looking...

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